Monday, August 04, 2008

North Island Adventure - Day 2

It's now just past three o'clock and we are back at the camp site after a morning in Port Hardy. We woke up at 6:30, but snoozed again for a while before getting up. Coffee and porridge were the first order of the day, then we dressed and headed out on a hike into town.

The nature trail leaves right from the campground and for much of the time, follows along the Quatse River and the estuary. We saw eagles out on the estary (it was low tide):

as well as a fish processing plant, a sea plane dock:

and a marina. The walk took about a half hour or so. We trundled along Market Street to the Visitor Information Centre where we picked up a map of town, then followed the Harbour walk towards the western edge where they have a nice park and some cool old trees.

From the information centre we'd spied a couple of tall ships in dock

so they were our next destination. Up close they were very cool - I'm a sucker for all that shiny brass and wood :) Sean found out they belong to the S.A.L.T.S. programme.

I took lots of photos of them - here are just a few:

Sean in front of the Pacific Swift

Porthole detail

Pacific Grace

Detail shot of the rigging

Pacific Grace

We also saw a Haida canoe:

Following a quick trip to the mall (where we ended up not finding the groceries we needed), we stopped in at the Market Street Cafe for a yummy lunch. It's a funky little place with a mixture of seating - everything from regular tables and chairs, to booths, to comfy couches (our choice). The food was great.

By the time we emerged, the sun had started to poke its face through the low cloud. We visited another grocery store, bought what we needed then headed back to the campground by the same path, after a brief stop at a lookout.

Sean particularly liked the industrial art alongside the harbour walk, that took us through a little industrial park

Sean posing with a tree along the more scenic part of the harbour walk

Halfway back the sun came out fully, so we took the longer route, which took us down the other side of the Quatse River.

In town we saw a little pub that we heard is good, so we'll head back there for dinner in a little while. At least this way we'll burn off any calories we consume!

Tomorrow's plans include a trip to San Josef Bay. We'll drive about 90 minutes west of here, then hike the final 2.5 k into the bay. Sean went there as a teenager and says it's well worth seeing. There are some other cool spots to stop at on the way back, including a cedar snag where hikers hang their boots after completing the Cape Scott Trail.

For now, though, I'm sitting outside, enjoying the sun filtering through the trees and onto our site. It's pleasant enough, but certainly not hot, which is actually kinda nice because that way the camper stays comfortable. It's supposed to be hot when we get home on Wednesday, so I won't miss out on the really summery weather.

It's now after dinner. We enjoyed our meal and the walk to and from the pub. The tide was in when we were on our way there:

And already going out again as we walked back:

I love playing with my camera - trying things out. Above is a shot of a tree reflected in the water just as the sun is starting to set:

From Best of North Island Trip - August 2008

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